Google Life Sciences rebrands itself as Verily.
Courtesy of Verily

Alphabet finds its letter 'V'.

By Laura Lorenzetti
December 8, 2015

A chemist, an engineer, a doctor, and a behavioral scientist are about the change the world—at least if Verily has its way.

Verily, the rebranded name for Google Life Sciences, is a newly separate company under Alphabet, the holding company that now houses Google and its many expanding businesses. The initiative aims to truly understand health by combining technology and life sciences to better prevent, detect, and manage disease.

Verily connects subject experts to uncover better ways to distill information using Google’s unique specialities: massive data stores and large scale computing power. The goal is to ultimately launch new technologies, studies, or companies that will solve pressing health needs.

“How can we detect disease earlier, understand it better, and intervene in the course of the disease more precisely?” Vik Bajaj, chief scientific officer for Verily, said in a video introduction to Verily. “We will understand disease at the individual level. Not what makes someone sick, but what makes you sick.”

The former Google Life Sciences started as one of GoogleX’s many “moonshot” projects, which have also included space elevators and Back to the Future-style hover boards. Its goal is to continue pushing forward on lofty goals as it chronicles in a nearly two-minute video on its new website.

The company has already created transformative products, including a smart contact lens with an embedded glucose sensor for diabetes patients, a product that’s becoming a reality for consumers in partnership with Novartis.

Verily also plans to go beyond health-focused hardware to develop bio-molecular nanotechnology, surgical robotics, and algorithms that can analyze complex biological information. By analyzing enough data over time, Verily is hoping to discover life-saving patterns for early disease detection, help accurately diagnose illnesses, and choose better treatments. An example of Verily’s big data efforts is its Baseline Study, which aims to collect enough information to be able to accurately define what “healthy” is for the human body. It would be the first ever universal “baseline” for health.

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